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Chicago Playwrights Team Up for Virtual Theatre

While their plays are already in print, these Chicago playwrights are independently preparing virtual theatrical shows for our enjoyment.

Chicago Playwrights Team Up for Virtual Theatre

Two of Chicago's playwrights are spreading their wings to show work in the virtual theatre format. Emma S. Rund and John Joseph Enright are two of seven playwrights whose plays are featured in an anthology of short plays from Future Publishing House. While their plays are already in print, these Chicago playwrights are independently preparing virtual theatrical shows for our enjoyment.

Watch Emma S. Rund's The Bushwick Girls

The Bushwick Girls is a full-length play about four women overcoming their differences in order to enact change in society. In the beginning of 2021, Devon Hayakawa directed a virtual performance of The Bushwick Girls. That performance is currently available on the supporting company's YouTube page.

The play exists in its entirety, along with a talkback that appeared after the January 30th performance. This virtual performance was in conjunction with the Wayward Sisters Theatre's showcase entitled The Sisterhood Series. Wayward Sisters Theatre supports inclusivity in the arts, women-run businesses, and making art available to everyone.California-born dramaturg Devon Hayakawa is a director who attended Ball State University. Hayakawa was a National Finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In addition to directing this virtual theatrical performance, Hayakawa directed Emma S. Rund's To Fix A Dinosaur for the Chicago Dramatists in November 2019.

In December of 2020, Hayakawa returned to direct a new adaptation of Rund's To Fix A Dinosaur. Currently, an excerpt of this play is in post-production, to be released as a short video vignette. The vignette of To Fix A Dinosaur is in conjunction with the release of an anthology of plays, entitled American Theatre in the Twenty-First Century: Absurd, Symbolic & Poetic Short Plays.

The anthology is available in print (paperback and hardcover) since its December release. The independent book publishing company has revealed that the vignette for Rund's contribution will be released as early as the spring of 2021. A spokesperson from Future Publishing House claims, "The video is coming out around the same time as our first eBook of the anthology."

brochure for Starved Rock by Enright

John Joseph Enright's Starved Rock Virtual Theatre Coming Soon

A second virtual performance, from another playwright who contributed to American Theatre in the Twenty-First Century, is coming February 12th. John Joseph Enright, a poet from the Southside of Chicago, wrote two plays that are featured in the anthology: Starry Night and Iago's Deal. A virtual theatre performance of his play Starved Rock is set to premier at 7 PM on the playwright's social media channels.

The virtual performance of Starved Rock was directed by Denise Smolarek. The idea came shortly after Smolarek directed another one of Enright's plays. As featured in the anthology from Future Publishing House, a video vignette of an excerpt of Starry Night will debut this spring. This video will appear alongside Rund's vignette, and two other video excerpts of the book are already available.

According to Enright, the director of this performance was a motivational factor for its production:

"Denise [Smolarek] told me, as an aside, she had liked [Starved Rock's] naturalistic quality. She didn't tell me anything about the play. In a subsequent conversation, she let drop the title of the play, Starved Rock. At which point I thought, well, if you like it so much, and since you liked doing the Starry Night zoom project, maybe we could do a little Starved Rock zoom as well."

The preview for the Starved Rock virtual theatre project depicts a drive to the setting of the play, a park that's not far from one of the world's mightiest rivers. "Starved Rock is at a wide spot on the Illinois River, a pretty big river which flows into the Mississippi River," says Enright.

For more information about The Bushwhich Girls, To Fix A Dinosaur, and other plays, visit Emma S. Rund's website.

For information about John Joseph Enright, Starved Rock, Starry Night, Iago's Deal, and other plays, visit Barely Concealed Productions.

American Theatre in the Twenty-First Century is available as a paperback and hardcover book, wherever books or sold. You may communicate directly through the publisher if you wish to receive a discount on bulk orders. For information about this anthology of short plays by living playwrights, visit Future Publishing House.

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